Open the take on box of any seasoned ice fisherman and, most of the time, you’ll find a couple of Jigging Raps inside in varying colors and sizes. Frequently mimicked, however never duplicated, this Rapala classic has actually long led the pack of artificial lures developed for vertical jigging suspended fish. While it’s been a game-changer in the ice-fishing world for many years, more anglers are gradually finding its effectiveness in open-water scenarios as well. Whatever the season, the Jigging Rap’s distinct and alluring swimming action has earned it a fish-catching credibility for an excellent rap sheet of types.
Rapala has been a name synonymous with fishing lures given that 1936, when Finnish angler Lauri Rapala used a shoemaker’s knife and sandpaper to craft his first lure out of cork. His hand-carved development (what would later end up being the Original Drifting Rapala) perfectly simulated a wounded minnow. Word spread rapidly and Rapala’s status as a fishing lure powerhouse began. Over the decades, the company added various ingenious lures to their lineup, yet something remained continuous; their goal to exactly reproduce the action of hurt baitfish that predators can’t withstand.
With this in mind, Rapala hit a homerun with the Jigging Rap, which can be used to deceive a number of various game fish in any part of the water column.
I am just among an untold number of anglers that can thank a Jigging Rap for their largest jig-caught fish through the ice. Mine began a cold, windy day while tucked behind a Jet Sled that was propped up for makeshift shelter. The screen of an electronic fishfinder displayed my Jigging Rap as a thin black line suspended about 10 feet off bottom. As I waved my fishing pole like a symphony conductor, the lure hopped and turned in tight circles 60 feet listed below me. The thin line bouncing on the screen quickly had company as a thicker line shot off bottom like a rocket, engulfed the jig and doubled over my rod into the ice hole. After an enjoyable pull of war, an overweight 2-foot brown trout tumbled beside me with the Jigging Rap protected firmly in its jaw. It’s been a self-confidence lure for me since.
Rapala uses the Jigging Rap in a large choice of 17 color patterns, from conventional to UV radiance options. Classic options like gold or chrome blue do a fine job of representing natural baitfish, while the glow colors are often better fit for stained water, targeting walleye and crappie in low-light circumstances, or plying the depths for trout. The jig likewise comes in five different sizes, from 1/8-ounce (1.25 inches) to 7/8-ounce (3.5 inches), which match the profiles of preferred forage for a variety of freshwater fish like walleye, bass, crappie, perch, pike, pickerel and trout. The Jigging Rap’s center treble hook and single reversed hooks on each end make sure a lot of sharp points to land home in a fish’s mouth. Its center eyelet placement enables the Jigging Rap to hang perfectly well balanced underwater when held still, and this lure can be practically efficient at rest as it is in movement. When put to work nevertheless, the jig’s particular swimming action is owed to its plastic tail fin.
There’s actually no incorrect method to jig a Jigging Rap, however to hear how a pro does it, I got in touch with Freshwater Fishing Hall of Famer Tom Neustrom of Minnesota. Tom is an everyday fishing guide so it didn’t come as a surprise that he was on the water when I initially connected to him. He called me back later on that night and discussed how walleye and crappie were beginning to stage in the areas they’ll occupy when his preferred lakes freeze over, so he’s basically jigging up fish now from a boat the very same way he’ll be doing it a month or more on the ice, with a Jigging Rap.
” The turning of the bait is a huge triggering aspect for the fish,” Tom described. By lifting and dropping the rod tip, the Jigging Rap begins an enticing circular swimming movement. Tom chooses short lifts, about six inches to a foot, for crappie and walleye, though he understands several lake trout anglers who use a far more overstated sweep of the rod pointer of a couple of feet. For his cherished crappie, Tom prefers a size # 2 or # 3 Jigging Rap and doesn’t trouble sweetening the hooks with anything unless his quarry is being especially picky, after which he’ll add a pinched-off minnow head or tail to the treble hook. Aided by electronics, Tom decreases the jig to hang inches above the schooling crappie where he’ll perform his lift-and-drop technique and often use a little jiggle of the rod that makes the Jigging Rap short-hop in a loop. Tom stated the crappie are attracted by the action of the Jigging Rap, in some cases can be found in so close they bump it with their nose.
For bigger walleye, Tom steps up the size of the Jigging Rap to # 5 and constantly tips the treble hook with a minnow head or aromatic plastic bait like Trigger X. A method he prefers to use on hunkered-down walleye is to drop the jig to bottom, triggering a puff of sediment that grabs their attention. He then continues to swim the jig with brief snaps of the rod pointer to draw the strike. With all the turning and spinning of the jig, Tom worried making use of a leader and small barrel rotate a couple feet above the bait to avoid line twist.
In open water or under the ice, the versatile Jigging Rap has actually shown time and time again its capability to win over fish suspended throughout the water column. As Tom put simply prior to hanging up, “It’s a heck of a lure.”